Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing centers upon improving the performance of US industry through the innovative application of technologies, processes and methods to product design and production. This topic makes extensive use of computer, high precision, and information technologies integrated with a high performance work force into a production system capable of furnishing a heterogeneous mix of products in small or large volumes with both the efficiency of mass production and the flexibility of custom manufacturing in order to respond rapidly to customer demands. Advanced machines, intelligent robotics, sensors, control systems and processes are included.

Advanced sensing, measurement, and process control (including cyber‐physical systems) also known as smart manufacturing, or advanced automation

This set of cross‐cutting technologies has applicability across almost all industry domains. These technologies are critical for enhancing tradability by way of end‐to‐end supply‐chain efficiency (e.g., low‐cost and pervasive sensors in plants and logistics systems, automatic control and coordination of systems of systems). Integrated intelligent sensors for monitoring, diagnosis, and control.

Visualization, informatics and digital manufacturing technologies

This area includes integrated, enterprise‐level smart‐manufacturing methodologies (e.g., moving directly from computational/digital design to materials planning/purchasing to manufacture of customized formulated solutions for coatings to electronic materials). One aspect deals with the speed with which products are brought to market, which will be a key differentiator. It also entails simulation and visualization technologies that can optimize the product and its manufacture in the virtual space (therefore bypassing time‐consuming and expensive physical testing and experimentation) before actual physical production is started.


Health care is going to be a key megatrend worldwide, with requirements for newer, more effective and less expensive molecules as well as lower cost medical diagnosis tools. Innovations in the Bio–Nano‐interface such as bio‐inspired manufacturing using self‐assembly have the potential to simplify and scale up many complex/expensive Nano‐manufacturing technologies and make them economically viable.

Industrial robotics

Automation and use of industrial robots in labor‐intensive manufacturing operations such as assembly, product inspection, and testing can enable high endurance, speed, and precision. This has great potential to enhance productivity of the U.S. workforce and enable it to compete with low‐cost economies, both for domestic and export markets.


  • Stephen L Canfield


  • Kwun-Lon Ting
  • Stephen L Canfield
  • Ali T Alouani
  • Christopher D Wilson
  • Robby Sanders
  • Pedro E. Arce
  • Holly Ann Stretz
  • Ahmed Kamal
  • Douglas A. Talbert
  • Ismail Fidan
  • Meenakshi Sundaram
  • Vahid Motevalli
  • Sheikh Ghafoor
  • Stephen Scott
  • Steven Anton
  • Fred Vondra


  • Center for Manufacturing Research (CMR)

Current Activities:

  • Southern Alliance for Vehicle Manufacture
  • Regional Innovation in Manufacturing Center

Grand Challenges:

  • Enhance virtual reality
  • Engineer better medicines
  • Advanced Manufacturing Questions/ IDA-STPI

Current and Potential Partners:

  • Robotic Technologies of Tennessee, Office of Naval Research, Shipbuilding Assn; Vanderbilt, Various industries working with UT-CIS 

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